New Haven's Hidden Historic Park
Set back from the road, behind a small children's playground, is a sign that reads:
On this spot a signal beacon was established in 1775 and about this hill American patriots bravely resisted a large force of invading British troops, July 5, 1779. To honor the deeds of the Fathers.
Rising above the location of this sign stands Beacon Hill. In 1775 a large pile of brush and firewood was placed on top of Beacon Hill at the ready to be fired as a beacon to warn of an enemy approach.
On July 4, 1779, British troops were sighted in Long Island Sound heading towards New Haven. Signal guns were fired from nearby Black Rock Fort (near current Lighthouse Point) and a signal fire was set atop Beacon Hill as well as East Rock and West Rock to warn residents to prepare to fight.
On July 5, 1779, British troops landed on the east shore of New Haven Harbor. American patriots bravely resisted a large force of invading troops, including troops on and about Beacon Hill. The British invasion of New Haven resulted in 56 English soldiers killed, wounded, or MIA. The American loss was 23 killed, 15 wounded, and 12 taken prisoner. Many homes and properties were burned and destroyed.
Beacon Hill was renamed Fort Wooster in August 1814 to honor Major-General David Wooster, who had bravely served during the War for Independence and lost his life in 1777 during a battle in Ridgefield, CT.
Fort Wooster 1934
A 1934 aerial photo of Fort Wooster. Notice the open space and the paved drive that once wound through the park.
Original painting by Patricia Corbett (www.patricialouisecorbett.com) (